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CPR Examines Reggae’s Influence On African Liberation, May 24, 2011

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As reggae continues to impact the lives of Africans 31years after the triumph of the struggle for the liberation in Zimbabwe and Bob Marley’s historic performance at their celebration, The Coalition to Preserve Reggae Music (CPR) will celebrate African Liberation Day 2011 with a forum titled “The Impact of Reggae on Africa’s Development”. The forum, which will examine the role reggae has played in liberation struggles across the African continent and its continuing influence on the daily lives of Africans, takes place on Tuesday, May 24 at 3Ten Lounge, 310 Bowery in Manhattan from 6:30PM to 10:30PM. The event is free and open to the public.

Reggae has long been hailed as the “soundtrack to the liberation struggle” as many of its original purveyors were strongly influenced by the struggles facing their brothers and sisters on the continent. From the struggles in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) to those in South West Africa, (now Namibia),  apartheid in South Africa, and struggles all over the continent, reggae ignited a fire that stayed lit, inspiring many guerilla fighters and encouraging them on their journey. The late Joseph Hill popularly known as Culture was a hero in South Africa where his performances were legendary.

A slew of African artists have been strongly influenced by the emergence of reggae music. They include the late Lucky Dube of South Africa who channeled the spirit of Peter Tosh and the late Fela whose blend of high life roots reggae and funk created a new sound, Afro Pop. Today, artists such as Damian Marley, Luciano, Sizzla, Anthony B, Capleton, Beenie Man, Shaggy, Sean Paul and so many others continue to pull large crowds when they perform there such that we see the emergence of a newer generation of reggae artists from Africa such as Meta, of Meta and Cornerstones, originally from Senegal, currently residing in New York and recording his latest album in Kingston, Jamaica at the Tuff Gong studios.

Lending their voices to the discussion, sharing their experiences and  their perspectives will be Sidney Mills, keyboardist for Steel Pulse and record producer extraordinaire; Grammy nominee King Isaac, who was smitten at age 14 when Bob Marley performed in his homeland, Zimbabwe; Meta, and well known dub poet, Osagefyo, who has performed extensively in Africa. Also participating will be drummer turned vocalist, Ras Droppa who has toured the continent repeatedly. The evening’s showcase performance will feature Ras Droppa and Paul Wayne.

Come out on May 24th to kick off the observance of African Libration Day celebrations with CPR as we examine the impact of reggae on the African continent.  The forum will be streamed live on CPRLive via www.cprreggae.org and www.e2onair.com. For more information visit www.cprreggae.org, email [email protected] or call 718-421-6927. Sponsors for the CPR Community Conversation Series are: Lounge, INTACS, Totally Delicious, WVIP, TSO Productions, Charles Mellers and Full Spectrum Sounds.

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Written by Staff Writer